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Thoughts from the ammo line (What A Long Strange Trip Its Been edition)


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Power Line

Scott Johnson

Feb. 25 2022

Ammo Grrrll introduces a series: “For nearly eight years, commenters have asked me to describe my journey from a Republican family to a Democrat, to a leftist, back to a Democrat and finally, back home to conservatism. It always seemed too daunting a task, but I have finally given it a shot. This is the first installment of what could be as many as seven or eight. If I can serve as a bad example and inspire someone else to “come home,” then it will have been worth it. (I will interrupt the series if a contemporary crisis demands my commentary! LOL.)” Here we go:

I was born an extremely tiny white baby who already demonstrated a propensity for neurotic promptness, arriving three months early. (Later I would be famous for showing up to dinner parties while at least one host was still in the shower). The sex I was assigned was called “Girl” or “Female” and it suited me right down to the ground because I had girl parts. So that all worked out better than if, in a careless moment, I would have been assigned “boy.” Whew!

It worked out particularly well because the good ol’ country doctor who delivered me told my parents that had I BEEN assigned the random, whimsical sex of “boy,” I would probably never have made it to be writing this political history. Turns out female babies are hardier than male babies at birth – who knew? And here I thought there were NO differences between girls and boys that were visible to the naked eye at least. So there I was, a scrappy baby girl in the only color that can be born with racist DNA according to half-white, only half-racist Obama!

(Snip)

Daddy was more relaxed, less tight with money and definitely less interested in dusting and vacuuming. His watchword was “independence.” He owned his own drugstore – a bit later in the story – and urged us to eschew any kind of debt except for real estate, and to be dependent upon and beholden to nobody if possible. That philosophy has served me well.

So here we have a middle-middle class white girl in a stable two-parent family of college-educated professionals in Heartland America. What could cause her to lose her bearings?

Civil Rights, that’s what. Television showed powerful images of gross unfairness, inequality and near-unfathomable cruelty.

Next week: Part Two – “JFK, Inequality, and A Broken Heart, oh my.”

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

 

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Thoughts from the ammo line

Scott Johnson

Mar. 4 2022

Ammo Grrrll is back on THE LONG AND WINDING ROAD – A political history, Part 2. JFK, Inequality, and a Broken Heart, Oh My! She writes:

The 1960 election was quite the event in that brief window before presidential assassinations, mass demonstrations, riots and the like turned America upside down and inside out. It was pleasant enough to be a Republican with a calm, golfing, war hero at the helm in the ’50s. He had a vice President who was considerably less appealing. Up to the 1960 election, the electorate seemed interested in serious, responsible, wise, “regular”-looking presidents.

And suddenly there appeared a rock star. Young, rich, sophisticated, witty, urbane, and very good-looking with a charming young wife and a couple of adorable tots, John Fitzgerald Kennedy dazzled America’s influencers. That definitely included the media, which could not have been more enchanted with JFK had he given them lap dances.

(Snip)

But, C’MON, man! JFK had an effect! I was a 14-year-old girl. Principles are cool and all, but it was hard not to be swept away by the clever young man who talked funny and spoke glowingly of “vigah.” It made you aspire to “vigah.” *I once went on a 50-mile hike (with Ladiehawke and Heather) as he had recommended! By the time of the 1960 election, we had a black and white television and we watched the historic debates between this fetching young man and a sweaty, five-o’clock shadowed weird guy.

To this day, I don’t even remember what they disagreed about. There were some odd debating points about two islands that may or may not have been critical to national security – Quemoy and Matsu – that nobody I knew had ever heard of before that night, nor ever again going forward. Maybe they tipped over, like Guam. Somebody alert poor Hank.

(Snip)

We approached each person we encountered as a unique individual. Why, once, we even sat for a few hours with a deranged woman in full Nazi regalia in the Student Union as we debated in a shockingly civil fashion her grotesque politics. (I doubt I could be that civilized today…) Nobody needed a “safe space” and nobody kicked her out of the building though she was not even a Northwestern student! Ah, free expression! I remember it fondly.

I guess at that stage, we would have been called classic “liberals,” not leftists. Not to worry – that would come later, but at least we still couldn’t vote yet.

Next Week – Part 3 – Vietnam.

_________________________________________________

* I had forgotten about those. Thinking I seem to recall thinking they were 'Nifty"....and mom giving me The Look.

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Thoughts from the ammo line

Scott Johnson

Mar. 11 2022

Ammo Grrrll continues on THE LONG AND WINDING ROAD – a Political History, Part 3: Vietnam – the Most Divisive Issue of Our Generation. She writes:

To backtrack just a bit, our beloved country had absorbed many body blows in the turbulent ’60’s, starting with the unimaginable assassination of President Kennedy. (Some of you jumped the gun by discussing that last week. It’s OK.) Assassinations were something that happened in some Latin American backwater, not in America. Our High School Girls’ Service Club had scheduled a dance for November 22nd, 1963. Naturally, it was cancelled. No matter. I didn’t have a date anyway….

(Snip)

Then, in 1968, both the Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King, Jr. and Robert Kennedy were murdered just a few short weeks apart. On April 4, 1968, Joe and I were hosting in our tiny two-room apartment, a wedding reception for a black man and white woman. Neither set of parents wanted any part of it, and there was already a beautiful baby boy about 3 months old on the scene. Everyone – black and white — at the little reception was wretchedly aware that Dr. King had been murdered. Talk about an elephant in the room.

Eventually, as the dismal “party” staggered on, Chicago was on fire and the black groom left to try to calm things in his old neighborhood. I took care of the young bride and taught her how to bake bread to distract her. The baby slept peacefully in a cardboard box. Hard to believe he would be 54 years old today, very possibly a great grandfather.

(Snip)

And Vietnam was the first, but not the last, war to be fought on television, and fought politically rather than militarily. None of which was the fault of the brave and honorable soldiers tasked with fighting it.

We can only speculate what would have been the effect of the dreadful images broadcast into our living rooms night after night of the Revolutionary War from Valley Forge, the Civil War, or even World War II, particularly in stages of those wars when defeat looked certain. Try to imagine the aftermath of the Battle of Gettysburg televised with somewhere between 46,000 to 51,000 casualties from both armies – almost 8 years of Vietnam in a single day.

Few of our friends at the time — certainly a self-selected group — went to Vietnam. Strangely, since college, many of our male friends DID serve. We have listened to their stories with open minds and broken hearts and respect bordering on awe. We, too, hated the John Kerrys who sought to demonize the men doing the fighting and the sacrificing. Kerry was a part of the antiwar movement at the time we were active and we couldn’t even stand him THEN – even as an alleged ally.

(Snip)

But there was no getting around it: It was basically a cult, though we didn’t know that yet, and like the tedious metaphor of the frog in tepid water, it happened in stages. Our main interest was stopping the Vietnam War and bringing the troops home safely.

Remember those wacky “conspiracy theorists” who claimed that leftists and even card-carrying Communists were behind the mass demonstrations against the war? Well, I am here to tell you that – like about 98 percent of current “conspiracies” — they were right. Through a variety of innocent-sounding “front groups,” they ran the show. And I know because I was one of them. We learned exactly how easy it was for a relatively small group of hard-core activists to have influence far beyond their numbers (or their IQs). It still is today.

Next week, Part IV – Life in a Cult.

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Re Vietnam and the antiwar movement: When to a party, where one guy i particular kept talking about *baby killers. I asked him is he was a pacifist? He said (proudly) he was. I told him, Great, because I'm not and the Air Force spent $15,000 teaching me how to beat the crap out of people, and he didn't shut his pie hole, I was going to give him a demonstration.  He said "You Can't Say That To Me!" Yes I can, and just did.

 

 

* as an aside he was probably Pro-Choice. You know people who actually Kill Babies

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Thoughts from the ammo line

Scott Johnson

Mar. 18 2022

Ammo Grrrll remains on THE LONG AND WINDING ROAD, A Political History, Part 4: Inside the Cult. She writes:

Richard Henry Dana, a Harvard student, wrote Two Years Before The Mast in 1840 about his stint as a common sailor on a ship sailing around Cape Horn. I could write a considerably longer broadside than just this column called Six Years Inside a Leftist Cult, but it’s really been done by several other people, including David Horowitz, cited frequently last week, and whose work I could scarcely improve upon. I can only scratch the surface in one column.

Whether you call it a Cause or a Cult, an entity that seeks to take all your time, all your money, and control where you live, what you do for a living, and, in extreme cases, even who you marry, is a Hydra from which it is difficult to escape.

(Snip)

But back again to 1969: within our political sect, we called each other “comrades” (no, really) and some others “contacts” (someone who could potentially be recruited). All the rest were either non-entities or mortal enemies. The worst hatred and scorn was saved, not for the much-maligned “ruling class,” but for other socialist sects competing for the same small pool of lost or misguided souls.

The cult assigned you not only to a city, but also to an area of work. I was in the antiwar “fraction” until the war ended, first in Minneapolis and later in San Francisco. I learned a great deal and proved to be a pretty good organizer of dang near anything. One of the group’s mottos was “picnic or strike, we do it right.”

The group practiced what was called “democratic centralism.” This allegedly meant that free-flowing democratic discussion could take place WITHIN the Party. But once a decision was reached, a vote taken, then the members were bound to defend that position to all and sundry outside the movement. That was where the “centralist” part came in.

(Snip)

The New York stint came to a bad end when the Head Harridan and I butted heads. Feminism had just started to reach its tentacles into every area of life. As we made these phone calls, hour after hour, day after day, the one “break” we got besides cigarettes (I didn’t smoke…but considered starting) was a little transistor radio that sat on a shelf near the fund-phoners.

One day, near the end of the six week assignment, Bob Dylan’s “Lay, Lady, Lay” came on the radio. I loved that song and still do. And from the other side of the large open boiler room, like a bat out of Hell, lumbered the Sensitivity Monitor to turn it off! She stormed back to her lair muttering about sexism and “objectifying womyn” and I turned it back on again. The office went deadly silent.

“Who did that?” she screamed. “I did. I like that song. Please do not turn it off again.”
She came over to do that and I stepped in front of her and said very softly, “If you turn it off again, I am going to throw you down the stairs.” At that time I was still over five feet tall, but she had six inches and eighty pounds on me. But, we have all seen someone “snap” and know when to let it go. The radio stayed on. But she reported me. Of course she did. If she’s still alive, she’s undoubtedly the head of an HOA somewhere.

(Snip)

However, already cracks were appearing in the foundation of our confidence in this movement. The decisive blow would come a couple of years later when – ecstatic! – I got pregnant and it looked like I would carry to term successfully after a couple of heartbreaking miscarriages. Even though a tiny handful of the comrades had had children before joining the movement, it was as though some alien being had landed among the Party leadership. It was a fad among several of the young women to get sterilized so that their revolutionary activities weren’t interrupted by the dreadful inconvenience of having to raise children. Now here was this crazy baby-loving woman, big as a house, and they did not know what to do with me.

Next week: Part 5, Leaving the Cult, Not With a Bang but a Whimper…

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Thoughts from the ammo line

Scott Johnson

Mar. 25 2022

Ammo Grrrll is still on THE LONG AND WINDING ROAD, A Political Journey, Part 5: Leaving the Cult. She writes:

I have known many people who have left a marriage and they generally fell into two categories: those for whom it happened in one death blow – an infidelity, a betrayal, the discovery of secret substance abuse, and those for whom it happened after years of misery and an accumulation of grievances over “little” things where the end was not dramatic but somebody just woke up one day and said, “I can’t do this anymore. I am outta here.” Our “divorce” from the Party fell into the latter category.

(Snip)

Anyway, our baby was born and naturally, we wanted the best for him. The high school that he would have gone to in our Mission neighborhood was already dangerous in the ’70’s. Our babysitter who went there developed an eating disorder from anxiety over being regularly bullied by Black and Latin girls. When she turned 16, she just stopped going.

There was ONE decent high school – Lowell – for which you had to take an entrance exam. By the time our son would have been in high school, Asians, Jews, white students in general, had to have perfect scores. Blacks and Latins could get in with far lower scores. A good friend got her very smart son in (he was one point away legally) by claiming he was Latin. His absent, deadbeat father – who missed out on a wonderful kid – was half Mexican, so at least he was worth something in the end.

There were other irritants in the Party as well. We watched some pretty sketchy goings-on – bullying wealthy recruits out of substantial trust funds. Convincing rich liberals to “loan” money to various movement front groups without the slightest intention of paying them back. A lesson in dialectics on how a loan turns into a gift… We were never participants in any of those shenanigans and were embarrassed to be associated with those who were.

(Snip)

And so after considerable discussion between us, we left the Party in 1975. We moved back to a small town in Minnesota and really enjoyed connecting again with my parents, who loved having their grandson nearby. Since we hadn’t left under protest or over some major factional dispute, we remained on good terms with the people and even rejoined the St. Paul branch at a much reduced commitment level for a short period in the late ’70’s. Kind of like giving it one last try with an abusive relationship. It didn’t last long.

A few years after we had left for the second time, the people who were our closest friends within the organization had a dispute that led to their being expelled from the Party after years and decades of devotion. It was pretty demoralizing to behold. The whole Old Guard of inspirational labor leaders was summarily tossed overboard. We were adjudged guilty by association since we knew the wrong people and were no longer welcome even as “friends.” And so we were entirely gone for good. I have never had a day of regret in the 42 years that have flown by since leaving. Stop me before I channel Kamala’s soliloquy on The Passage of Time. It seems like a different lifetime or a weird dream I had.

(Snip)

In 1992 an ET-like visage with a Louisiana accent managed the campaign of William Jefferson Clinton and his unpleasant wife-like substance, Sir Edmund Percival Hillary Rodham Clinton. Even as a Democrat, I couldn’t stand her then or ever. But I found Bill intelligent, witty, and – remember? — he campaigned on the economy, trimming welfare, and making abortion “rare” instead of a sacrament. His “bimbo eruptions” were disturbing, particularly his TASTE, but then I would consider Hillary and just nod my head in sympathy.

I voted for Clinton both in 1992 and 1996, even after the Famous Blue Dress. It did bother me that anyone so clueless that he couldn’t even get rid of such icky yet disposable evidence should probably not have the nuclear codes either.

While I admired both Bush 41 and Dole as war heroes, I was not overly inspired by them as conservative standard-bearers. Were you? Be honest. I was to vote Democrat – and holding my nose at that – just one more time in 2000. And I was to make my final leap from “moderate Democrat” (which Bill Clinton would have to be called in retrospect after Obama and the present disaster…) to Conservative.

Next week: The Final Installment — The Democratic Party Leaves ME. And subsequently loses its collective mind.

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Thoughts from the ammo line

Scott Johnson

Apr. 1 2022

Ammo Grrrll has reached her destination as the LONG AND WINDING ROAD COMES TO AN END – The Democrat Party Leaves ME and subsequently loses its collective mind. She writes:

While parts of this may sound like April Fool’s material, it is all true. Anyway, nowadays, EVERY day seems like April Fool’s Day or Candid Camera. Thought I’d mention that today also marks the 8th anniversary of the column. Holy Persistence, Batman!

By the mid-’90’s, think of my loyalty to the Democrat Party as a rickety, fragile structure which had been buffeted by many strong winds: to wit, the OJ Trial, begun in late January 1995, in which my fellow Americans of Color were positively jubilant when a Black murderer of two white people, one of whom was the mother of his children, walked free. Oh, well, eventually he will face a tougher Judge than Ito.

(Snip)

The year 2000 rolled around with dire predictions of planes falling from the sky, computers crashing, and worldwide food shortages. All because those wacky I.T. guys had chosen to use only two spaces for the year, not four, to save memory space. My husband and son worked on the Y2K “problem” along with thousands of other people. New Year’s Eve ’99 came and NOTHING HAPPENED. Kind of like every single “Climate Deadline” since Ecology Day in 1970.

In October of 2000, Yemenite terrorists attacked the U.S.S. Cole and killed 17 American sailors. Bill Clinton bit his lip in sorrow; stern letters were written; the FBI went to Yemen to investigate and was told to go home. They did. Nothing was done. Many analysts predicted that was an open invitation to MORE terrorism. How I wish they had been wrong.

(Snip)

Then, one surreal Fall day in 2001, as a Minnesota lawmaker described it, “some people did something” and 9/11 became synonymous with horror. Imagine my astonishment when less than a week later, at a gig I had for a prominent Democrat woman’s anniversary party, revulsion at the attack was strangely muted. Afterwards, I spoke with several women movers and shakers in the Minnesota DFL Party and listened in utter disbelief as they all to a person agreed that “America had it coming.” Say what? And something finally just snapped.

I walked away in disgust from these long-time women friends and the party. They were the same group that was proud to support Anita Hill against Clarence Thomas with me as the lone dissenter. I feared that everything political I had ever believed must have been wrong.

(Snip)

In 2016 when I enthusiastically supported Donald J. Trump, my four main issues were First Amendment, Second Amendment, Border Control, and Support for Israel. Hillary was 0:4 and DJT was 4:0 on my issues. I would have crawled over glass from Hillary’s broken Crown Royal decanters to vote for DJT. I also did not appreciate being called “deplorable,” though I now embrace it as a compliment.

The current Democrat Party is a sterile, power-mad Death Cult that worships late-term abortion, condones and abets crime, and hates free speech, individualism and excellence in any form. It is cleaving to its racist roots only the target race has temporarily changed. Amity between the races is something up with which it will not put. Don’t worry, Black people. It could revert any time you step out of line. Check out what happens to any Black conservative who leaves the fold. The fanatic obsession with race, “gender,” and sexual deviance is sheer lunacy. But not as dangerous as lowering all standards in the military and academia in the name of Equity.

Can America pull out of the death spiral that the Democrats have got us in? Remains to be seen. And whether or not the Republican Party will be that agent of change remains to be seen as well. Whatever else happens, we patriots must never give in and never give up. RESIST. DO NOT COMPLY. As our old “revised” clever take on the “Push ‘em back” football cheer used to go: REPEL THEM, REPEL THEM, MAKE THEM RELINQUISH THE BALL.

On to Year Nine with the column! Many thanks to John, Steve, and Scott and especially my smart, funny, and dedicated commenters.

___________________________________________________________________

Thoughts from the ammo line

Mar. 30 2014

Our old friend Susan Vass has had a productive career in stand-up comedy making people laugh for a living. I’m not sure if she’s still working, but she still thinks funny thoughts. She has forwarded current meditations under the pseudonym Ammo Grrrll in columns she calls “Thoughts from the ammo line.” Ammo Grrrll writes:

A few years ago, I moved from a blue to a red planet. No, wait, I moved from Minnesota to Arizona, but my point still stands. A metric ton of tedious lip service is paid to the concept of “diversity” in Minnesota (motto: “It’s Not Just the Landscape that Is Lily White!”)

(Snip)

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